Jewish public school students from all across Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island transformed a week of vacation into a week of Jewish fun and Pride at the Released Time Winter Day Camps in Brooklyn and Queens.
This past week, something truly magical unfolded in both Brooklyn and Queens. The Winter Day Camps by the Released Time Program, guided by Rabbi Sadya Engel in Brooklyn and Rabbi Mordechai Zev Hecht in Queens, wasn’t just an ordinary camp—it was a transformative experience. It turned a school vacation week into a joyous celebration of Jewish pride and identity for more than one hundred children who attend public school.
Each camp was packed with fun activities that celebrated Jewish heritage, leaving the public school children with unforgettable memories. “It’s my second year joining camp but this year is much more fun,” says Ethan from the Brooklyn camp. “Going on a trip every day with other Jewish friends is something I will remember forever”.
At the core of the amazing camps were eager children embracing Mitzvahs and Jewish themes and building new Jewish friendships. Each day began with a meaningful and intentional davening followed by a lavish breakfast spread filled with engaging insights and stories led by a team of dedicated Bochurim.
The daily trips weren’t just outings; they became immersive learning experiences celebrating their Jewish identity and pride. “The Kosher pizza and special program in Crown Heights is always fun for me,” said Sammy from the Queens location, referring to a special rally the children experienced at 770 in Crown Heights.
The glow of the Chanukah’s spirit infused the Released Time camps with a special radiance, igniting an atmosphere of both joy and education. In the vibrant arts and crafts sessions, creativity soared, weaving together Jewish history. Bochurim and children engaged in enriching conversations, creating a lasting impact through these meaningful interactions.
The Released Time program would like to thank Rabbi Mordechai Hecht and Anshei Shlomo Chabad – JCC for hosting the Queens camp and the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva of Ocean Parkway for hosting the Brooklyn camp.
Special thanks is also given to Mendel Turk, Naftali Gurary, Dudi Ashkenazi, Shlomo Zelig Kupfer, and Mendel Weinbaum for spearheading many of the camp’s responsibilities.